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Cats 101

Cats may love to go outside, but for their own good, keep them in.  Although cats are smart and alert, they are no match for the many perils that await them outside.  That's why the average indoor-only cat lives up to three times longer than a cat who goes outside.

Consider these threats -

Parasites - Outdoor cats suffer from flease, ticks, ear mites, and worms that indoor cats are generally not exposed to.

Poisonings - Poisons can be found in lawn chemicals, bait left out to kill rodents, auto antifreeze and other sources.

Other Animals - Fights with other cats, dogs, raccoons, coyotes and other wildlife often leave cats maimed, injured or dead.  It's not just the male cats.  Female cats get into fights, too, because cats are, by nature, territorial.  Injuries also mean increased veterinary bills for care.

Cruel People - Cats are often the victims of burning, shooting, sacrifice and other tortures.  Animal dealers trap and collect outside cats to sell to research labs.  Outside pets are at the mercy of the people the encounter.  We've personally had cats, Tundra, whose throat was slit from ear to ear, Dallas who was gutted across his stomach, and Rosey Red, who was swung around by her leg, resulting in it being pulled out of the hip socket and ultimately needing to be amputated.  Not all people are nice to cats.

Traps - It's estimated that over 100,000 cats are caught in traps each year.  Those who are not killed may suffer for days before being released and often lose limbs from injuries.

Traffic - Most outdoor cats die prematurely from being hit by cars.  It is a myth that cats are "streetwise" about cars.  No matter how alert, a cat is no match for a fast moving vehicle.

Pet Overpopulation - Unaltered cats allowed to roam and mate will account for millions of cats who are euthanized each year because there are not enough homes for them.  Allowing unaltered animals is irresponsible and the root of the terrible pet overpopulation problem.

Cats can be completely happy inside if you provide them with toys, good care and most importantly, love and attention.  if you have a kitten, start it out right by never letting him or her outside.  Older cats who are used to going outside can make the transition to being indoor cats with time and attention.   For more information on the risks to outdoor cats or converting your cat to life inside, please contact us. 

WARNING!!  Anyone who tells you they can relocate a feral cat to a "Sanctuary" is probably just going to kill it!  DO NOT give a trapped cat to anyone!

Feral cats have a home - outdoors!

And although they appreciate a can of cat food, they don't want to snuggle with you on your couch.

A feral cat is not socialized to humans.
Though feral cats are members of the domestic cat species and are protected under state anti-cruelty laws, they are typically fearful of humans.  They are often victims of abandonment, or failure by owners to fix their pets, and deserve caretaking just as much as the cats who live with us.

Feral cats can have the same lifespan as pet cats.   And they are just as healthy, too.  The incidence of disease in feral cats is just as low as in pet cats.  They live healthy, natural lives on their own, content in their outdoor home.

Feral cats should NOT be taken to animal control pounds or shelters.
100% of feral cats taken to animal control pounds or shelters are KILLED because they are not adoptable.  Just like raccoons and opossums, feral cats live outside, but are killed in shelters.  Even No-Kill shelters are not able to find homes for feral cats.

Catch and Kill DOESN'T work.
Animal Control's endless, cruel cycle is extremely costly to taxpayers and ineffective at reducing the feral cat population.  Cats choose to reside in locations for two reasons - there is a food source and there is shelter.  When cats are removed from a location, survivors breed to capacity or new cats move in.  This "vacuum effect" is well documented.

Trap-Neuter-Return DOES work.
The only humane way to reduce the feral and stray cat population is by Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).  This keeps new cats from coming into the area, greatly reduces fighting and spraying behavior, improves the overall health of the cats and directly reduces the number of cats being killed at Animal Control shelters.  For more information on TNR - please read the next article.

YOU can make a difference and save lives.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates there are as many as 50 million feral cats in the United States.  It's vital to reduce their numbers whether you're concerned about, indifferent to, or annoyed by them.

If you're feeding feral cats, you obviously care about them.  Feeders who don't realize or can't find resources to get the cats spayed and neutered while their numbers are manageable, are soon overwhelmed by kittens, kittens, and more kittens.  Don't let this happend to you or the cats.  Always assume a stray or feral cat needs to be spayed or neutered and get assistance with Trap-Neuter-Return before the kittens show up.  It's better to be safe than sorry.

Please get involved in this worthwhile program.  For more informaion on how you can help or assistance with stray and feral cats in your area, email us at - info@catcause.com

Please help us make a difference with a donation earmarked for the Trap-Neuter-Return program!



We've all seen them - the cats living in business areas, empty lots behind restaurants, at airports and schools... maybe in your own neighborhood or backyard.  Unless spayed and neutered, these cats will continue to breed and reproduce at an astronomical rate.

The Cat Cause Foundation is one of the very few rescue groups that focuses on feral cats in our community.  With our Spay-A-Stray / Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR), we provide assistance with the trapping and altering of feral and un-owned stray cats.

The only humane way to reduce the feral and stray cat population is to actively TNR.  This keeps new cats from coming into the area, greatly reduces fighting and spraying behavior, improves the overall health of the cats and DIRECTLY REDUCES THE NUMBER OF CATS BEING KILLED AT COUNTY SHELTERS!

Documentaion has shown that total removal and euthanization of these cats has proven to be completely ineffective and more costly than a TNR program.  Many communities throughout the country have put into place a TNR program and found it to be the only effective way to control the feral cat population.

As part of our Spay-A-Stray / TNR program, all cats are - 

*spayed/neutered
*vaccinated
*treated for diseases, illness and injuries
*ear-tipped so they can be identified in the future

The cats, who are often very shy and afraid of humans, are returned to their colonies where caregivers provide, food, water, shelter, medication, and re-trapping for additional veterinary care if needed.  These cats can live long, happy lives in their home colonies with their feline friends and human caregivers.

Please get involved in this worthwhile program. For more informaion on how you can help or assistance with stray and feral cats in your area, email us at - info@catcause.com

Please help us make a difference with a donation earmarked for the Trap-Neuter-Return program!


TRAPPING
1.  Skip a feeding
2.  Put newspaper in the bottom of the trap
3.  Make a small trail of pea-sized food leading to a larger portion in the back of the trap.
4.  If ants are a problem, use Sevin Ant Powder - animal safe and available at most hardware stores.
5.  Types of food to use - smelly, fishy, canned food, mackerel, sardines, warm chicken
6.  ALWAYS cover the trap with a blanket or sheet - especially when a cat is in the trap.  Otherwise, they'll hurt themselves by trying to get out of the trap.
7.  NEVER leave a trap unattended in an unsafe or public area if it can be seen or taken.
8.  NEVER attempt to open a trap with a cat in it.  You don't want to risk the cat getting out.  If you trap more than one cat in the same trap, leave them both in the trap and take to the veterinarian.  Bring and extra trap or carrier so they can be separated after their spay/neuter.
9.  Set more traps than cats.  Cats come out at night - just because you don't see them during the day, doesn't mean they're not there.

AT THE VETERINARIAN

Minimum Services Needed -
1.  Spay/Neuter
2.  Ear-Tip - Straight cut - not V
3.  Check if lactating to know whether or not to look for kittens
4.  Keep over night a Vet's if possible

Optional Services -
1.  Revolution or other Flea Treatment
2.  Rabies Vaccination
3.  FVRCP Vaccination
4.  Micro-Chip - so the cat can be returned if brought to an Animal Control shelter rather than being euthanized.

Spay/Neuter Vouchers
1. Orange County Animal Allies (OCSPCA) - 714-964-4445  info@OCAnimalAllies.org
2.  Animal Assistance League - 714-891-7387
helpline@aaloc.org

Releasing
1.  Keep an extra night - especially if female, but only if NOT lactating.
2.  Release lactating female cats on the same day.  Their kittens need them for food and protection.
3.  Release at night.
4.  Put food out before letting the cat out of the trap.
5.  Face trap away from streets or dangerous areas.  The cats will run quickly without looking.

Tips
1.  If you have to keep the cat in the trap for a couple days, give them wet food and keep the trap covered.
2.  Put a plastic trash bag on the ground with newspaper over it, then place the trap on top of the newspaper.  The newspaper wil absorb any urine and the plastic will prevent it from getting on the bottom surface.
3.  To keep opossums from going in to the traps, leave a peeled banana or other piece of fruit a few feet away from the trap.  The opossum will happily take the fruit and wander off without getting in the trap.

The Truth About FIV -

The Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus is a slow virus that can potentially compromise a cat's immune system over a period of years.

FIV tests are tests for anti-bodies, NOT the actual virus and false positives are very common.

FIV positive cats do not need medicine and can live normal, healthy lives of 15 years and longer with proper care and nutrition.

FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-feline pets.

FIV is NOT easily passed between cats.  It cannot be spread casually, like in litter boxes, water and food bowls or when snuggling or playing.  It is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens.

The FIV virus can be spread through blood transfustions, badly infected fums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds, but bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered male tomcats.

A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats and can safely live with other cats if properly introduced.

Many vets are not educated about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.  FIV positive cats should be kept indoors to minimize their exposure to other diseases, potential illnesses and stress.

The Cat Cause Foundation has successfully placed FIV positive cats in homes with other cats who are FIV negative with great results and happiness for everyone involved.  Please consider adopting an FIV positive cat into your home.

A MESSAGE FROM THE CAT CAUSE FOUNDATION - 

Your sofa and your nerves are in tatters.  You're scolding your cat, knowing all the while that it's futile.  This is not a cocker spaniel you're dealing with.  This is one of nature's most pragmatic and self-sufficient creatures.  Worse, you're well aware that your cat considers your behavior annoying.  She looks at you as if you've gone slightly mad.  You're at an impasse.  What to do?

DON'T DECLAW.

Please, take that as a given.  Declawing is not an acceptable option for the beautiful, loving animal that depends on you.  The reasons to avoid declawing are compelling, for you as well as for your cat.

Declawing is literally maiming a cat, a mistake that can lead to physical, emotional and behavioral complications.  It is erroneous to think that declawing is a trival procedure similar to trimming fingernails.  A cat's claws are a vital part of its anatomy, essential to balance, mobility and survival.

Declawing is an irreversible surgical procedure that involves amputating the last joint of the cat's "fingers".  It is a very painful procedure with a strong potential for secondary complications.  Imagine having the top joint of your fingers amputated.

On rare occasions, declawing may lead to secondary contracture of the tendons.  This makes it uncomfortable for the cat to walk.  Since the last joints of their front paws are missing, they compensate by placing more of their weight on their hind quarters, causing them to be out of balance.  This shift of weight to the hind quarters may lead at atrophy of the muscles of their front quarters.

Being out of balance is extremely distressing to a cat, whose very life is about balance.  You've observed cats climbing trees, teetering perilously on a single branch, leaping incredible heights to land on a pre-selected spot, or threading in and out of complex arrangements of knick-knacks without disturbing a single ornament.  These are acts of balance and part of a cat's basic heritage.

In addition to being an intrinsic part of a cat's normal conformation, its front claws are a cat's primary defense.  Once declawed, there is no replacement or regrowth of the claws.  You may think, "My cat never goes outside."  But what if your cat accidentally gets outside and you can't find her?  She is now defenseless in a potentially hostile environment.

Deprived of it's front claws a cat may become insecure and distressed.  We can assure you that if your cat becomes emotionally distressed, you will, too.  Feeling defenseless without their claws, cats may become hostile to people and to other animals and will be more apt to bite.

Some cats develop an aversion to their litter box because of the pain associated with the scratching in the litter after a declawing procedure.  This leads to urinating outside of the litter box.

30% of all declawed cats are euthanized every year because of problems caused by the suffering they experience from being declawed.  Unable to tell us how they're hurting, they act out instead.

Multiple cities and states, as well as some European countries have made declawing illegal.  It is considered inhumane.

Please, love your cat enough NOT to Declaw!  Get them scratching posts and sprinkle catnip on it or use other humane alternatives such as Soft Paws.

For more information on declawing, please visit www.declawing.com




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